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Oral history interview with Meir Tzoref

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1272.334 | RG Number: RG-50.120.0334

Meir Tzoref (né Mark Lev Goldshmit), born on April 14, 1920, describes growing up in Jonava, Lithuania; being one of nine children; living in a very Jewish area; attending a Hebrew school; participating in Zionist activities; joining the communist movement and working in a farmers’ cooperative; the Soviet invasion of Kovno (Kaunas, Lithuania) in 1939; the German invasion of Kovno in 1941 and moving into the Kovno ghetto with his wife; the harshness and difficulties of life in the ghetto; mass murder of Jews from the ghetto; viewing the long line of Jewish youth, including his brother Avraham, being led to the 7th Fort, where the children were killed; being transferred to the ghetto in Slobodka (Vilijampole, Kaunas); registering under a false name to avoid recognition as a communist; the Action at the 9th Fort; joining an underground movement in the ghetto and trying to join the partisans in the forests; his wife giving birth in the ghetto and sneaking out of the ghetto to leave their child at a church; never seeing his wife again after she left the ghetto; German marshals who helped them during his wife’s pregnancy; the black market; the Paneriai massacre; the efforts of Haim Yelin to organize groups of youth to leave the ghetto and join the partisans in the Rudniki forest; being sent to Stutthof and conditions there; after a few months being sent to Dachau; the roll calls and food in the camp; his work building of an underground factory; the death march; their liberation and returning to Kovno; reuniting with his three year old son; and marrying his former sister-in-law and moving to Warsaw, Poland before they immigrated to Israel in 1960.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Meir Tzoref
interview:  1998 January 29
14 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-08-03 11:26:24
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